Hi all. ive just this minute joined the forum. Im looking to redesign a web ste for a friend. He's a landlord and has a bunch of houses (30 or so) that he rents out to students. He wants to be able to store and change all the nformation about these houses in a database, and have the property information pages on the site dynamically populated and updated.

My idea was just to create seperate html pages from the information not linked to a database, because im not familiar with databases. but this would mean later on, changes to the database would have to be repeated for the website, so maybe it is a good idea to roll everything ot one.

Im not sure quite how to go about it, ive heard about sql and ms access and oracle and all, but dont really understand what they all are, or what they actually do, whether they are software products or what, whether they would be installed on the server or my friends computer. if its on the server how to you interact with it or even go about setting it up.

I understand that there would be a database, and on the website there is somekind of fetch command or something, but im obviously missing alot because it seems to me that it should be possible to upload a excel spreadsheet and fetch information from that somehow.

I d really appreciate it someone could lay down a simple step by step plan for getting something like this set up, or let me know where i can find information to educate myself, and get my head around it all.

Thanks all.


14 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by bentkey

Personally, I doubt that you can justify the time it will take to learn about data driven web sites for one site with 30 pages that may change only occasionally. But if you have to, or you're just into learning how like I always have been, then you should probably start by learning PHP and MySql; not because they are necessarily better than other things, but because they are very common and freely available. The server hosting your site must support what ever applications you decide to use, and these two are commonly supported but you must check.

You would install these products on the machine you use to develope your site so that you can make everything work, and then transfer the pages and data to the hosting web server.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is a standard used by a variety of SQL databases to define the way data is managed in the database. Ms Access is a desktop database and not really ever used for this sort of thing. Oracle is a brand of SQL database I think never supported on commercial web servers because of cost. For data needs this small, there are ways to read the information out of a text file, but if you're going this far you may as well learn MySql. Forget Excel, it's a spreadsheet, and it's never supported although it could technically be done. The data is always stored on the web server along with the site. This is the only place you can guarantee the server will be able to retrieve it. So, you probably would be looking at entering the data twice anyway, once into your local database and once into the site database, although you could automate the update. There are forums on this site that can help you learn both and you can learn to use Google searches on both. Enjoy, it can be a lot of fun learning these technologies and if you plan to do much with web sites, it's essential.

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